I Accept Rep. Randy Forbes's Challenge for Someone to Debate Him
Chris Rodda printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 06:19:10 PM EST
During a July 1 radio appearance on The Jody Hice Show, Rep. Randy Forbes, promoting H. Res. 397, his resolution for a "spiritual heritage week," issued the following challenge:

"I challenge the president or anyone else -- come up, either debate me on this issue or simply tell me where that single moment in time was when you can say we crossed the threshold -- we ceased being a Judeo-Christian nation -- and you can't do it."

Well, as an "anyone else," I hereby accept Mr. Forbes's challenge. I want to publicly debate him on his resolution.

If Mr. Forbes is as confident in the historical accuracy of his resolution as he appears to be in his media appearances and recent "Judeo-Christian nation" floor speech (the YouTube video of which has gone "viral," now approaching 2.5 million hits), he should be eager to debate someone like me, right?

Mr. Forbes has incessantly touted his footnoting and documentation of all the claims found in the 75 "Whereas" clauses of his resolution, making numerous statements like the following one from his Jodi Hice Show appearance, so he should have no worries at all about defending those claims, right?

"This...is the most documented resolution, I think, that's been filed in Congress in years because we footnote every single thing that we've put in there, and you can read this resolution and it's like reading a history of faith in America. So, we hope to get that dialogue and that debate started again..."

Mr. Forbes, by his own words, has drawn a line in the sand:

"The spiritual heritage bill basically just draws a line in the sand and says wait a minute, we've got a rich history of faith in this country. We shouldn't be obscuring it. We shouldn't be running away from it. We should be talking about it."

Well, someone needs to cross that line in the sand, and it's going to be me.

So, Mr. Forbes, just name the time and place -- your turf, my turf (up here in NJ-6), DC, or anywhere else -- and let's debate your resolution clause by clause and see how well that very impressive looking list of footnotes you keep boasting about stands up to scrutiny.

I'll be sending a registered, return receipt letter to Mr. Forbes's office formally accepting his challenge to make sure he knows that I, as an "anyone else," have stepped up to accept it.

For those who are unfamiliar with Mr. Forbes's "spiritual heritage" resolution, it's a re-introduction of H. Res. 888, the "religious heritage" resolution he introduced in the last congress. In a series of pieces last year, I debunked the dozens of instances of historical fiction in that resolution, and thanks to the efforts of a few organizations and a whole bunch of bloggers who joined in the fight, H. Res. 888 never made it to the floor. But, a few months ago, outraged over President Obama's statement in Turkey that America is not a Christian nation, Mr. Forbes reintroduced the same resolution as H. Res. 397. It currently has 74 co-sponsors.

I recently re-posted my debunking of H. Res. 888, as soon as I saw that Mr. Forbes had re-introduced it as H. Res. 397, so, if anyone wants more details about the resolution, or to see why I'm thrilled that he has issued a challenge for someone to debate him on it, you can find it here.




Display:
I hope he acknowledges your acceptance of his challenge and goes through with it.  I wouldn't hold my breath, of course.  His challenge is probably just bluster meant to impress his amen crowd.  But if you do get to debate, it will be comforting knowing the facts are on your side.  I'm guessing he will have to resort to preaching:  "Well, America ought to be a Christian nation! It just oughta be!"   And he will no doubt question your patriotism for denying the truth of Christian nationalist history during this time of war.

Looking forward to the results.  Thank you, and keep us updated.

by brother maynard on Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 12:35:35 AM EST


I'll be watching... and pulling for you.

by deatons on Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 01:07:40 AM EST


by stcrispian on Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 08:37:03 PM EST
Parent


Rep. Forbes would be insane to actually debate Ms. Rodda on this stinking pile of lies and cherry-picked quotes. Unless he's so breath-takingly stupid that he believes every word in it, in which case he can go ahead and give his heart to Jesus, 'cause his ass will belong to Chris!

by trog69 on Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 01:11:10 AM EST

Chris,

I hope that in addition to sending your letter to Representative Forbes that you put together a press release to DC and national media.

You are right these guys bluster things never expecting to be challenged on them but he needs to be backed into a corner and having the national media after him should make him put up or shut up.

by JerrySloan on Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 03:48:40 AM EST

or college sweetens the pot by offering a platform for the debate.

by Frederick Clarkson on Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 03:18:07 PM EST
Parent


" tell me where that single moment in time was when you can say we crossed the threshold -- we ceased being a Judeo-Christian nation", well it's sort of a toss up. Was it when the first evangelical opened their mouth to speak about anything to do with God, Christ and/or the Bible. That is the day scholarship declined and myth began. Was it the lightbulb that went off in someone's head that said "I can use this to manipulate people and get rich". Or the latest "trick" is to make "church" a rock and roll show, a sexual, sensual experience, a light show and pure entertainment. Now, this is difficult, because Christ was dealt a terrible blow when Rick Warren put pen to paper. So what do you think? Was it the first day an evangelical spoke, the moment it was first used to manipulate, the day it became Rick Warren's ego or the day it became entertainment. There is a church where I live that will be showing "Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona, next Sunday. Hmmm.. truly CEASED.... gotta go with Rick Warren, the greatest illusionist who ever lived... or maybe he was the beginning of the end and Vicki, Cristina, Barcelona will fully complete the circle. Zero. Good news, there are still plenty of Christians and intellectual pastors...

by stcrispian on Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 08:34:28 PM EST

If a revisionist like Forbes can distort the truth by misappropriating quotations and fabricating them wholecloth, surely it will be a matter of no conscience to claim "nobody answered the challenge". Without an aggressive response such as was mounted last year, no one of real consequence (such as a member of Congress) would know he was lying about that too.

by Panglos on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 02:48:54 AM EST
But, issuing the challenge is a starting point.

by Bruce Wilson on Mon Jul 27, 2009 at 07:16:36 PM EST
Parent



WWW Talk To Action


Christian Right Turns to Nullification to Counter Marriage Equality
Last year in The Public Eye magazine, Rachel Tabachnick and Frank L. Cocozzelli warned of the trend on the religious and political Right toward......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Historian Gerald Horne on Charleston, Church, & Slave Resistance
Professor Gerald Horne of the University of Houston notes the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church was at the center of Black resistance to slavery......
By Chip Berlet (1 comment)
The Zealots Strike Back: Latest Religious Right Sputtering Over Marriage Equality Is More Weak Tea
I've been monitoring the Religious Right's response to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on marriage equality, and I'm not impressed.So far, the reaction of......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Is Koch Brothers Money Fueling Criticism of Pope Francis on Climate Change?
In my last post I examined conservative criticism of Laudato Sii, ("Praised Be"), Pope Francis's encyclical on the environment and poverty. Indeed, some of......
By Frank Cocozzelli (3 comments)
Politics in Theocratic Times
The matter of religious exemptions from civil rights and labor laws is at the cutting edge of the contemporary political strategy of the Christian......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Why Is the Christian Right Remaining Silent About the Dennis Hastert Affair?
In early June, the Associated Press' Mary Clare Jalonick reported that a Montana woman interviewed by the FBI claimed that "her brother was sexually......
By Bill Berkowitz (1 comment)
Remembering James Dunn: Baptist Champion Of Religious Freedom
When I began working for Americans United in 1987, one thing confused me: Why were there so many Southern Baptists hanging around?Southern Baptists were......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Resistance Is Futile: Some County Clerks Say `I Won't' To Marriage Equality
One week ago, the U.S. Supreme Court extended marriage equality nationwide. So where are we now?To no one's surprise, leaders of the Religious Right......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
Celebrating July 4th
A decade or so ago I was vacationing in Hot Springs,  Arkansas.  It was July 4th and I attended the First Baptist Church in......
By wilkyjr (1 comment)
Nine Mainline Protestant Christian Martyrs
This is a tricky time for the Christian Right. Immediately following the mass murder at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in......
By Frederick Clarkson (4 comments)
Terms, Definitions & Glossaries for Writing about the Religious Right
One of the challenges in writing about the Religious Right and what to do about it is the matter of terms and definitions. That's......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Top Southern Baptist Official Admits Churches Won't Be Forced To Marry Same-Sex Couples
For years now, Religious Right leaders have been whipping up hysteria by claiming that, should marriage equality become the law of the land, conservative......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
The Pope, Climate Change and the Catholic Right.
The conservative criticism of Laudato Sii, ("Praised Be"), Pope Francis's encyclical on the environment and poverty that began even before its release, has now......
By Frank Cocozzelli (4 comments)
Simply Put -- LGBTQ rights are not a threat to religious freedom
I'd like to underscore the conclusion of this piece, which is crossposted from LGBTQ Nation.  The advance of civil rights for LGBTQ people is......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Pluck Of The Irish: Same-Sex Marriage Vote Shows Yearning For An End To Clerical Domination
A provocative headline from Reuters news service last week caught my eye. "Irish plunge stake through Catholic Church's heart," it read.The headline is perhaps......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)

Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (0 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (2 comments)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (0 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (0 comments)
Evangelicals Seduced By Ayn Rand Worship Crypto-Satanism, Suggest Scholars
[update: also see my closely related stories, "Crypto-Cultists" and "Cranks": The Video Paul Ryan Hoped Would Go Away, and The Paul Ryan/Ayn Rand/Satanism Connection Made Simple] "I give people Ayn Rand with trappings" -......
Bruce Wilson (11 comments)
Ted Cruz Anointed By Pastor Who Says Jesus Opposed Minimum Wage, and Constitution Based on the Bible
In the video below, from a July 19-20th, 2013 pastor's rally at a Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, Tea Party potentate Ted Cruz is blessed by religious right leader David Barton, who claims......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Galt and God: Ayn Randians and Christian Rightists Expand Ties
Ayn Rand's followers find themselves sharing a lot of common ground with the Christian Right these days. The Tea Party, with its stress on righteous liberty and a robust form of capitalism, has been......
JSanford (3 comments)
Witchhunts in Africa and the U.S.A.
Nigerian human rights activist Leo Igwe has recently written at least two blog posts about how some African Pentecostal churches are sending missionaries to Europe and the U.S.A. in an attempt to "re-evangelize the......
Diane Vera (1 comment)
Charles Taze Russell and John Hagee
No doubt exists that Texas mega-church Pastor John Hagee would be loathe to be associated with the theology of Pastor C.T. Russell (wrongly credited with founding the Jehovah's Witnesses) but their theological orbits, while......
COinMS (0 comments)
A death among the common people ... imagination.
Or maybe my title would better fit as “Laws, Books, where to find, and the people who trust them.”What a society we've become!The wise ones tell us over and over how the more things......
Arthur Ruger (0 comments)
Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (5 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (5 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (3 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (5 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.